cleveland clinic wig boutique provides sense of normalcy to cancer patients

Studio Fifty-One is a new wig boutique providing free wigs to any woman undergoing cancer treatment at the Cleveland Clinic that results in hair loss. Perhaps the greatest benefit the wigs provide is the sense of normalcy that goes AWOL while a patient is going through the healing process.

"The salon brings our patients comfort at a difficult time of their cancer journey," says Elizabeth Lindecke, director of The Scott Hamilton CARES Initiative at the Clinic.

The initiative partially funds the boutique, which opened on January 24 at the Cleveland Clinic Taussig Cancer Center. Funding is also coming from Margaret Rose Giltinan, a breast cancer survivor who underwent treatment at the hospital. The synthetic and real hair wigs are provided by the American Cancer Society and Jeffrey Paul Salon.

Early response has been "wonderful," reports Lindecke. The salon gave out 15 wigs during its first day of operation. One woman arrived with an old photograph that displayed her pre-cancer hairdo.

"She asked, 'Will I ever see this girl again?'" says Lindecke. "We found a wig that approximated her old hairstyle, and she left feeling like a million bucks."

Since its opening, Studio Fifty-One has received numerous emails and phone calls from people interested in the program. While there are no toupees for male patients, Cleveland's professional sports teams have donated a variety of free hats and caps for them to don during treatment.

For further information on Studio Fifty-One, email or call 216-445-6885.

SOURCE: Elizabeth Lindecke
WRITER: Douglas J. Guth
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